By John Fitzgerald
FENNELLY’S Café in Callan is celebrating after scooping coveted Lucinda O’Sullivan Great Places to Eat Award.
Ms O’Sullivan is a renowned food and hospitality critic and Sunday Newspaper columnist whose knowledge of the Irish catering industry is unrivaled.
She doesn’t make recommendations lightly.
So, When Etaoin Holahan, curator at Fennelly’s opened the envelope containing the star-shaped accolade, she was beside herself with delight. Thrilled too was her sister Aoife, super chef at Fennelly’s whose topnotch cooking is the talk of the town…and for many miles beyond.
Aoife had worked at a prestigious hotel in Melbourne, Australia before returning to Ireland. Merbourne’s loss proved to be Callan’s gain.
Up to over a year ago, Etaoin had been running the former pub in Upper Bridge Street as an independent creative venue, hosting musical gigs, art exhibitions, breakfast residency events, and showings of classic movies at a little cinema in the courtyard.
Opening a full time café was fraught with risks in uncertain economic times, but her foresight and judgment proved impeccable.
The café has proved to be a big hit with townspeople and visitors, attracting a constant stream of customers from opening time at 7.30am to 2.30pm closing time.
On a typical day I called in and was instantly captivated by the aromas and mouth-watering sights of food and beverages on display.
There were desserts to die for, the finest coffees, gourmet porridge, rhubarb tarts, home-made salted caramel, crispy flatbreads, natural yogurts with olive oil, delicious scones…and those were the offerings I spotted on my way to a table.
Since the award was confirmed on Friday, tributes have been pouring in to Fennelly’s.
Etaoin and Aoife thanked Lucinda O’Sullivan for the recognition.
Etaoin also paid tribute to the staff at Fennelly’s for their efficiency and high standard of service, and to the happy customers who have helped to make the café the success story it has become.